Platteklip Gorge |

Cape Town South Africa

Hiking Platteklip Gorge - Cape Town South Africa Hiking Platteklip Gorge

Cape Town South Africa


RATING: Moderate Hike
SEASON: Any, hot in the summer
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
Lions Head and Cape Town from Table Mountain

Lions Head and Cape Town from Table Mountain

Table Mountain provides a stunning backdrop to Cape Town. Surely every visitor to Cape Town admires the lofty summit. In my opinion, no Cape Town visit is complete without reaching the summit. The views from the top are incredible.

Platteklip Gorge is the second most popular route to the summit of Table Mountain. The most popular? Whether by foot or cable car, reaching the summit is a must do. If hiking Platteklip, start early on hot days and be sure to bring enough water. The route gets full sun and can be a scorcher in the heat.

Many days the summit is shrouded in thick clouds. The locals refer to this as Table Mountain having its tablecloth on. Avoid hiking on these days as the views won't be good and route finding on top can be challenging if the clouds are too dense.

Note: High winds close the cable car. If planning on ascending via Platteklip and returning via the cable car (recommended), be sure the forecast is for a calm afternoon or you may be hiking back down the same way you came up.

Also, if hiking up and taking the cable car down, buy your tickets on the top on the way down to avoid the usually long lines at the bottom cable car.
Heading across the top of Table Mountain

Heading across the top of Table Mountain

Getting There

From Cape Town, travel south-west on Kloof Nek Rd/M62 to the pass with Table Mountain on the left and Lions Head on the right. Turn left here at the junction and follow the signs to the cable car station. Depending on how busy it is, you may need to park at one of the first switchbacks. Generally a traffic volunteer will help direct parking.

View from the Beacon

View from the Beacon


From the cable car station, take the main trail that climbs steeply up to the contour path. The trail start is on the east side of the cable car station, where buses are usually parked. The steep path joins the contour path in 0.5km. At the junction, go left on the contour path. The path is mercifully flat for 1.5km. Stay right at the two major junctions.

The contour path passes through a drainage offering shade a nice respite from the heat. Just past this nice shady spot, go right and begin the steep 2km trudge up the Platteklip Gorge. Big steps and unrelenting steepness make this feel like a Stairmaster. High in the gorge are a few opportunities to rest in the shade.

Once on top, a junction is reached. I would recommend going left 1.8km to visit Maclear's Beacon. This is the highest point on Table Mountain and offers good views along the way. Going right at the top of the Platteklip Gorge takes you to the upper cable car station in about 10/15 minutes (0.8km).


Printable Maps:

34H 259910mE 6240606mN

S33° 56' 52" E18° 24' 08"

Contour Jct - Left

34H 259998mE 6240214mN

S33° 57' 04" E18° 24' 11"

Jct - Right

34H 261071mE 6239653mN

S33° 57' 23" E18° 24' 52"

Jct - Right

34H 261212mE 6239491mN

S33° 57' 29" E18° 24' 57"

Jct - Right

34H 261279mE 6239490mN

S33° 57' 29" E18° 24' 60"

Top of Gorge

34H 260465mE 6239033mN

S33° 57' 43" E18° 24' 28"

Maclear's Beacon

34H 262128mE 6238541mN

S33° 58' 00" E18° 25' 32"

Cable Car

34H 260023mE 6239516mN

S33° 57' 27" E18° 24' 11"


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